The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a woman in my 30s who has a specialist job. My mother stopped speaking to me because of my marriage. I have no idea how to mend our relationship.
When I told her I would get married, my mother fiercely argued with me. She said she was concerned about me, while at the same time she got angry and used abusive language. In the end, she told me she would stop talking to me. Nothing had been done about our relationship when I left home.
I think there are four reasons I made my mother mad.
First, I didn’t tell her about my intention to get married until the last minute. Second, I let my husband see my father — my parents are estranged and have lived apart for nearly a decade — without discussing this with her. Third, I told my mother things that made her even more concerned about me. Lastly, our ages are nearly 10 years apart.
I expected that she would forgive me in time, but she hasn’t. When I called her cell phone to let her know that I had got married, my number was blocked, so I was forced to write to her. I tried to contact her when I got pregnant and gave birth, but she ignored me. I also sent a postcard telling her that we had moved to a place near her. She didn’t reply.
Two years have passed since I was married. I think I would go and see her, but I’m discouraged as I fear she might say such things as, “I hate to see you and your child.”
I, Tochigi Prefecture
Dear Ms. I:
It must feel tough that your mother has not spoken to you for as long as two years as a result of a fight. I understand from your letter that you’ve made sincere efforts to mend your relationship with her.
When children become adults and get married despite objections from their parents, the parents often soften their anger if they learn their children are living a happy married life and raising a baby. In contrast, however, you have heard absolutely nothing from your mother, regardless of how you try to contact her. It’s very sad for you.
You said there are four possible reasons behind her anger. But I think none of them are serious enough to have made her stop speaking to you. Can you think of anything else that may have made her so angry?
Once someone has turned his or her back on you due to discord, it’s very difficult to change that person’s mind. Nevertheless, if you continue conveying your affection and consideration for your mother whenever there is a chance, even if she does not reply, she will eventually open up her heart, I think.
So, don’t be impatient. Just give it time, and it’ll all work out.
Sachiyo Dohi, lawyer